As much as using sketchbooks and other traditional methods is fun and a nice way for artists to show off their skills, we have moved into the digital age. Here there is a digital way to get done with just about anything.
The benefits of using digital drawing software are endless, from syncing work to all your devices, to powerful technic.
Every digital artist’s dream is to have easy-to-use software packed with features and a feel that is as natural as possible.
This article lists the best free anime drawing software we consider the best and easiest to use.
- Clip Studio Paint – Pen-pressure detection for realistic pen-like strokes
- Autodesk Sketchbook – It can easily and effectively handle 100-mpx canvases
- PaintTool SAI – Gives you access to mini versions of your drawings
- Medibang Paint – This allows you to upload and share your work with other people regardless of where you are
- Inkscape – Allows you to upload traditional work and convert it into a digital drawing
- Artweaver – It enables you to work in teams in real-time
- GIMP – You can customize brushes and patterns according to your needs
- Corel Painter – Has a natural media library that helps to minimize your experimentation period
- Chalk by Krita – You can use it for concept art, comics, rendering textures, and so much more, aside from just drawing anime
- Draw anime & manga – Learn to draw anime with tutorials and step-by-step practice with popular characters
From this list, you should already have an idea about the digital painting software you want to use.
There is still so much more to know about each of these software. If your mind still is not made up, keep reading. By the end, you’ll have a better idea.
1. Clip Studio Paint
Rated as one of the best free apps to draw anime, it has quickly become the go-to software program for digital art creators. This is all thanks to its usability and the traditional and natural feel it offers.
This program has advanced digital painting and drawing features; for example, it uses pen-pressure detection for realistic-looking pen strokes.
In addition, the program has storyboarding, inking, panel layout, lettering, and screen tones, among others.
It has superb features that allow you to create attractive artwork from scratch and work on high-resolution files of up to ten thousand layers.
One of the most notable features of this program is the ability to fill your layers with a base color with the bucket tool. The program has taken the bucket fill tool a little bit further and works like magic.
Features of CSP
- An almost limitless brush selection, which is 100% customizable. It comes with a pencil, watercolor, pastel, oil painting, and more.
- It works with high-resolution files that have up to 10,000 layers
- Adjust or enhance your final piece with the various editing features
- Scan or print your work from the program directly
- It is suitable for use across different platforms
- Affordable should you choose to go for the pro version, Clip Studio Paint Pro.
- It provides a traditional feel with a natural touch and advanced features
- It has great performance, working with high-resolution files
The user interface can be confusing for new users.
2. Autodesk sketchbook
This is probably the best program to draw anime for you if you are a professional artist.
This software’s highly intelligent UI stays in incognito mode until you are ready to draw the complete artwork.
It gives artists much-needed speed and precision. Autodesk feels just like traditional drawing.
- Over 190 customizable brushes for different textures and shapes
- It has a 16-sector radial-symmetry technology
- Line art import and a transparent background
- Premium tools including ellipse guides, traditional rules, predictive strokes, and much more
- It can handle 100-mpx canvases.
- It has familiar everyday art tools within the digital space, such as markers, brushers, and pencils.
- The software program allows you to draw without distraction.
- Doesn’t have all the necessary features to edit photos in detail.
3. PaintTool SAI
This lightweight software is quite popular among anime artists. It runs smoothly, giving a seamless user experience.
It has user-friendly tools, making it easy to create anime, draw cartoons or even use Photoshop. This is probably what makes it one of the best digital painting software.
- Access to mini versions of your drawings
- Fully digitized support
- Wide color spectrum and variety of colors
- It has a Drag tool
- Lock and move layers
- It makes the creation of anime characters comfortable and fun
- The brushes are very easy to use
- Quick, easy, and stable options
Limited editing and image grading tools
4. MediBang Paint
MediBang Paint is a convenient drawing app that makes drawing anime quite easy.
The program allows you to upload and share your work with other people. It is perfect for beginners.
You can use this software on IOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X devices.
- 50+ brushes and 120+ fonts
- Anime-themed templates
- Direct synchronization with mobile devices, both Android and iPhone
- You can fine-tune the 800+ pre-installed backgrounds
- It works with PSD files, which don’t normally work for free programs.
- Availability on a wide range of devices
- You need an account to access all the features.
This is a free vector-based anime drawing software program. It is quite similar to the infamous Adobe Illustrator.
However, it comes with a number of features that you’ll find interesting.
You can also add customized text and objects to your anime drawings.
- Upload traditional drawings via scanner and convert them into anime artwork.
- It is compatible with almost all file formats.
Apart from the highly customizable brushes and the filling, cropping, and selection tools, this art software also allows you to customize the user interface.
The digital art program comes in two options: Free and Plus.
While you’ll be comfortable using the Free version of this anime drawing software, the Plus contains even more features that will make drawings pop up.
- A massive set of standard image editing tools, e.g., gradient, fill, selection, and crop tools.
- High–DPI display support
- Basic and advanced image and effect filters (winds, waves, blur, etc.)
- A diverse brush selection set
- The user interface is easily customizable
- ability to draw textures and save them to the library for future use
- Unexpected stability problems
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.
It is almost the same as Photoshop but is preferred over its painting and drawing features.
As a digital artist, you’ll find lots of features that are really useful.
Besides, GIMP doesn’t have a steep learning curve compared to other digital drawing or image-to-cartoon conversion programs.
- other tools include ellipse, rectangular and free selection
- GIMP supports wide file formats
- It supports pen tablets and is capable of adding plugins to expand its features further.
8. Corel Paint
Corel Paint is the software for you if you want to draw anime on the computer. The application is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
It has numerous brushes that mimic traditional media brushes.
Its software also offers you different paper textures, so you can easily choose a paper texture that complements a specific type of brush.
- Pattern pens for incorporating unique brush patterns, including 2.5D texture brushes
- A broad range of brushes
- Natural media library that helps to minimize your experimentation period
- Numerous types of brushes give your artwork a more digital look
- The outstanding color selection feature
- The performance boost of this software heavily relies on your hardware (RAM)
- Not all brushes can use the GPU.
9. Chalk by Krita
This digital art program has customizable tools, so all your work will have a personal touch.
It’s a great program for both professionals as well as beginners.
In addition, you can easily switch and change your options with the various predesigned tools.
- You can use it for concept art, comics, rendering textures, and so much more, aside from just drawing anime
- Numerous hand features, great filters, and amazing brush engines
- it is a very Suitable software for painting and sketching
- It makes painting or art sketching fun and easier
- You can easily customize the predesigned tools to create artworks that are personalized to you.
- It’s not easy to work with texts
- It has faulty touch controls. This can easily be fixed with an upgrade.
10. Draw Anime & Manga
With this app, you can learn how to draw anime with various tutorials and step-by-step practice with some popular anime characters.
It allows you to start a drawing from scratch with simple lines and shapes. You’ll then gradually add lines until you arrive at the final image.
It is much easier to develop an image using Draw Anime & Manga. For this reason, this particular free anime drawing software is great for beginners.
- It has a wide variety of resources, characters, and lessons, making it fun and easy to learn to draw anime characters
- It is more like a learning program for beginner anime artists.
- It allows you to start a drawing from scratch.
- It does not need an Internet connection, which allows you to draw anywhere at any time.
- The app does not have a high resolution, unlike other apps where you can create thousands of layers.
- This software does not accommodate large canvases, as it is a mobile phone app.